Australian Computer Society

Address to the General Assembly of the International Federation for Information Processing

by Tom Worthington, ACS President

9am, Sunday 8 September 1996, Canberra

Tom Worthington Thank you to the IFIP President for the opportunity to address you this morning.

We have just completed a busy and productive week of conferences at the 14th World Computer Congress (IFIP96). Thank you for the opportunity for the ACS to host IFIP96. On Friday morning the ACS issued a media release highlighting some of the events at IFIP96. The daily newspaper articles and photographs are available on the ACS's Web server. These might prove useful for IFIP members to use in their publications.

As part of IFIP96, I conducted a workshop on Friday morning, with the assistance of Senator Kate Lundy. The workshop was on how the ACS, IFIP and related bodies could better address issues of use of the Internet. As you have seen here at IFIP96, Australia is at the forefront of Internet developments and the ACS is leading the development of the use of on-line working by the IT profession in Australia.


While appreciating the opportunity to meet with IFIP representatives, I am concerned with the lack of use of on-line access by this international body. The ACS has make a significant start with use of the Internet for communicating with members, for administration and for governance. IFIP must similarly get away from the paper paradigm and adopt on-line working. The community looks to professional IT bodies for advice and guidance. We must lead by example.

Let me give three examples from the last few weeks of how the Internet is being used in Australia:

The Teleteaching96 conference of IFIP96 has shown us what the future may be like. I believe that offices of tomorrow will look more like Teleteaching96's computer equipped cyber cafe, than this congress room full of paper.

We need to assemble a better international body for IT from the basic component parts of IFIP, which are the IFIP Technical Committees. We need all IFIP publications available on-line for the benefit of the world community. We need to realise that in many cases sending bits is better and cheaper, than sending people across the world to meetings.

There are many challenges facing governments and communities around the world with on-line access. The on-line issue will become of central importance not only to the world economy, but in providing the world's library and cultural life. The ACS has worked very hard to demonstrate that it can not only talk about this technology, but actually demonstrate use of it. IFIP needs to make an effort in this area, if it wishes to stay relevant, useful and to stay in existence.

The ACS will be preparing recommendations and proposals for international co-operation by IT bodies on Internet use. I look forward to further discussions on this issue.

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today.

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